The US army memo about the killing of an Iraqi woman in a taxi at a checkpoint in Iraq is terse and matter-of-fact.The incident occurred in the eastern Iraqi town of Baquba in February last year, when a taxi carrying a woman and her two children went through the checkpoint. US troops opened fire, killing the woman, who died from internal bleeding, and wounding her two children.
“There is evidence to suggest that the warning cones and printed checkpoint signs had not yet been displayed in front of the checkpoint, which may be the reason why the driver of the taxi did not believe he was required to stop,” says the memo, which recommended a compensation payment of $7,500 (£3,798).
The memo is just one of 500 claims for damages by family members of civilians killed or injured by US forces and its allies in Iraq and Afghanistan that have been obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU made the documents public on its website today.
In another case, an Iraqi civilian said US forces opened fire with more than 100 rounds on his sleeping family, killing his mother, father and brother. Such was the firepower that 32 of the family’s sheep were also killed. The army acknowledged responsibility and made two payments: a compensation payment of $11,200 and a $2,500 condolence payment.
How can we ever hope to convince any of these people to trust us when we carelessly kill their family members and then act as if it is just an unfortunate additional cost to fighting this war.
No wonder the enemy is having little trouble finding Iraqis who are willing to strap a bomb on their backs for the chance to take a few of the "invaders" with them when they die.